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Posts Tagged ‘Harry Potter’

Harry Potter Postage Causes Angry Uproar Among Stamp Enthusiasts

471104-01-main-746x746Short of having your holiday cards delivered to your loved ones by Hedwig herself, Harry Potter-themed stamps — released last week by the United States Postal Service — are obviously the most magical way to send a message.

The Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, however, disagrees. Strongly.

The organization of stamp enthusiasts has spent nearly sixty years advising the Postal Service on new stamp designs, and has made it very clear that it did not approve of the Potter postage.

“Harry Potter is not American. It’s foreign, and it’s so blatantly commercial it’s off the charts,” said John Hotchner, a former president of the American Philatelic Society, who served on the committee for 12 years until 2010. “The Postal Service knows what will sell, but that’s not what stamps ought to be about. Things that don’t sell so well are part of the American story.”

The thing is, a nearly-bankrupt Postal Service is also part of the American story, so the powers that be ignored the committee’s patriotic protests and went ahead with the wizardly designs. Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe said he chose a more commercial subject in order to offset declines in revenue. After all, no money = no Postal Service, and no Postal Service = no collectible stamps. So, give a little to get a little, right?

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J. K. Rowling’s Pseudonym Proves the PR Power of a Name

What’s in a name?

J. K. Rowling has written a crime novel called The Cuckoo’s Calling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, and by doing so has proven two things: Rowling’s writing earns rave reviews no matter what name under which it’s published (because a rose by any other name would smell as sweet), and that her real, Harry Potter-associated name is a veritable gold mine of a brand.

The novel, which was published in April, is set in London and features a one-legged private detective named Cormoran Strike, who is hired to investigate the death of a supermodel called Lula Landry. The book was welcomed with rave reviews, including a piece in Publishers Weekly, which stated that “in a rare feat… Galbraith combines a complex and compelling sleuth and an equally well-formed and unlikely assistant with a baffling crime in his stellar debut.”

Before the news about the author’s real identity broke last week, The Cuckoo’s Calling had reportedly sold around 1,500 copies. Since Rowling was unmasked, however, the book’s Amazon sales have risen more than 150,000%. Let me just spell that our for you for the sake of reiteration: one hundred and fifty thousand percent! Read more

Harry Potter and Don Draper Shared a Bath

If you’re a fan of Harry Potter or Mad Men (and especially if you’re both), then this promotional still for the upcoming British miniseries A Young Doctor’s Notebook probably did its job by catching your eye immediately. If you also happen to have a crush on Daniel Radcliffe and/or Jon Hamm, then may still be catching your eye–in fact, you probably aren’t even reading this. Hey! Down here!

A Young Doctor’s Notebook, the upcoming Sky Arts four-part miniseries set to launch on December 6, is based on the novel by Mikhail Bulgakov–and no, it’s not about a romance between a young wizard and a handsome ad man. The show tells the story of a middle-aged doctor reflecting on the time he spent working as a young medic during World War I. Radcliffe plays the younger doctor, and Hamm the elder.

While the two actors may not be close enough to share a romantic bath, they’ve certainly been singing each other’s praises as their project’s launch date nears. “He’s one of the best”, Radcliffe said of Hamm. “He is really funny and incredibly personable. The thing I haven’t heard people say is he is also one of the best technical actors”. Meanwhile, Hamm called Radcliffe his “comrade in arms.”

Radcliffe also addressed the bath scene depicted above, saying, “It was great, because you know you are the envy of every woman ever”. While that may be true, we hate to see Radcliffe selling himself short — we’re pretty sure there are plenty of Harry Potter fans who wouldn’t mind helping him wash behind his ears.

Free PR: ‘Breaking Bad’ Fan Art

We’ve heard about the power of digital fanfiction to elevate popular literary brands like Harry Potter, Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey. But what about fan art based 0n movies and shows?

AMC’s cult hit “Breaking Bad” has inspired its own ongoing art project called Breaking Gifs—and this week, the Los Angeles-based Gallery 1988 will feature a series of posters and other works by painters, print-makers and graphic designers who chose to pay visual homage to their favorite show. Check out some images here, here and here.

While the exhibit’s organizers did not appear to work with AMC in any official capacity, their event obviously provides a nice organic PR boost for the show, the gallery and all the artists involved. Members of the cast and crew–including show runner Vince Gilligan–even stopped by the exhibit on opening night to say hello—and why not? Everybody loves a little free PR.

P.S. Did we mention that we really love this show?

Cubes: An Inside Look at Scholastic’s Global HQ

In this episode of “Cubes,” we tour the corporate world headquarters of Scholastic. The company known for Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and, of course, Clifford the Big Red Dog is based out of two conjoined buildings in Manhattan’s SoHo district. The space includes Scholastic’s flagship bookstore, a huge rooftop terrace, one-of-a-kind Harry Potter memorabilia, and a 4,000-square-foot auditorium that recently hosted a performance from Taylor Swift.

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Publicist Accidentally Leaked Pottermore Details

J.K. Rowling went ahead and officially announced a few details about Pottermore, the new and exclusive eBookstore for the Harry Potter novels, this morning via YouTube (video above), but a publicist at Scotland-based PR firm  StonehillSalt had already accidentally sent details about the project and its PR strategy to reporters.

Buzz had been building about Pottermore for a couple of weeks and then yesterday there was chatter about a leak.

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Bin Laden Hits the Big Screen

Osama: Slytherin, most definitely

It took 10 years for U.S. forces to track down Osama bin Laden, but only hours for Hollywood to start planning movie versions.

An agent for former Navy Seal sniper Howard Wasdin, whose yet-to-be-released memoir SEAL Team Six documents his time with the elite counterterrorism unit that shot Bin Laden, says he’s already had several offers for a movie adaptation.

And (perhaps inconveniently) the terrorist’s death provides The Hurt Locker‘s Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal with a new, solid ending to their already-in-the-works thriller (working title: based in part on “a Delta Force commander’s” 2008 memoir Kill Bin Laden), about a U.S. special ops team on the hunt for bin Laden in Tora Bora.

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‘Harry Potter’ Leak Could Help Ticket Sales

On Tuesday, the first 36 minutes of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part I turned up on Bittorrent. TorrentFreak proposes that the leak may benefit the movie, “as long as the full version doesn’t leak out too.”

“If the first half hour is compelling enough, people will have to go to the theater and pay for a ticket to see the rest,” the site reads.

Paid Content offers an example of a film that was purposely leaked; a few minutes from (the box-office bomb) Killers was handed off to its star Ashton Kutcher to give his social media followers a sneak peek. In the Harry Potter case, Warner Brothers put out a statement calling it a “breach of copyright violation.”

Leak or no leak, we’re pretty sure the fans will come out for this one. Screenings start tonight at midnight. The awesome-looking trailer is after the jump.

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